We sat down with Tier 2 Support and Configuration Analyst Rob Stevens, to discuss all things support, what makes us different from an average SaaS company and why he enjoys working at mpro5...
Hi Rob, could you start by telling us what your role is?
Hi, so I’m a configuration analyst – I do a lot of ‘Tier One’ and ‘Tier Two’ support work, which means helping with the ‘frontline’ tickets, but I also do more in-depth configuration to solve more complex problems.
A large part of my job is to be the guy that says, “Yes, but have you thought of this?” to the customer. We have users who are very knowledgeable about mpro5, but it can take a long time to build up that level of understanding. Not all our users have this luxury, so I help them to see how, sometimes, there is a better course of action than the one they want to take initially.
So, in some ways is it consultation as well as support?
Yes you could say that. In my experience, most SaaS companies have an isolationist approach to development: they might release a new version of the software without considering the impact it could have on their customers’ processes, for better or worse.
We work closely with our customers to shape the platform for them, rather than expecting them to bend to our vision of it.
What would you say are some of the challenges of delivering the service?
Customer relationships are all about trust – so we try to be realistic about the time frames for delivery and, no matter their level of understanding, we take the time to explain why. We teach them how mpro5 works so that they can solve problems themselves, but we are always here to offer support.
Honesty is important, and so is spotting problems, before the customers even notice, and dealing with them.
Usually, calling customers is the best way to communicate, because you can educate them on how mpro5 works: it’s easy to imagine that it works a certain way when that’s not necessarily the case.
We try to balance encouraging independence against supporting the customer regardless of the circumstances. Anyone can make a mistake, especially when you’re looking at huge data sets, so having empathy with that is important.
We tend to get everything in one call, and people find it easier to teach themselves more when they’ve been given the right context.
On a different track, could you tell us about your background before mpro5?
I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear I’ve always worked in IT, but before joining mpro5, I wanted to return to support, which was my first job. Something else that drew me to this company was the fact that they have their own product. Previously, I worked for many companies that didn’t really do this, and it meant that you were always supporting this remote thing you didn’t have much control over.
Now, I get to work with a product that’s in-house, flexible, unique and immensely powerful. It really is amazing because very few software companies have this flexible approach. The customer’s wants come first, and we’ll bend mpro5 to almost anything they need it for.
It does pretty much everything, and it solves that problem for businesses of having to sellotape five different services together to get a complete tech stack.
What do you think makes mpro5’s service different?
As someone who uses a lot of SaaS products for my own projects, I can tell you there’s nothing worse than getting an auto-generated email when you contact support. It’s so impersonal, and totally fails to recognise however frustrating or urgent your problem is.
This can be really damaging if the person you’re batting away is a passionate user, because they can quickly become passionate about disliking your product if the problem isn’t properly addressed!
We always read the email or pick up the call, and we personally triage tickets to ensure that users get the help they need as quickly as possible.
We go the extra mile and there’s a reason we are so heavily imbedded in the companies we work with, our service is indispensable.
Finally, and most importantly, what is your favourite film?
Gladiator. My dad let me watch it when I was 7. I think it went against the comical swords and sandals thing that Hollywood did for a long time, this was much grittier. When my mum found out, she was fuming!